Before you retire, it's imperative that you're financially prepared to support yourself. But according to an Aon survey, most people won't be ready to do that until pretty late in life. In fact, just one out of every three workers is on track to have enough money to retire comfortably by 67, while the median employee won't have enough until age 70. 

It's unlikely most people will be able to work that long. So if you're one of the majority of Americans who won't be ready to retire until your seventh decade, you may want to do some things differently now. 

Older woman wearing green apron and stocking shelves at work.

Image source: Getty Images.

Most workers aren't saving enough to retire until 70

Aon's research revealed that 46% of workers have saved significantly less than they'll need to retire by 67, while another 35% of workers are below their target savings rate. Just 19% of workers have saved as much or more than they need to retire at 67. 

Workers are not only saving too little, young people also need more retirement savings than past generations due to rising healthcare costs and longer life spans. 

Working until 70 isn't likely to be possible

While the majority of workers aren't on track to be prepared for retirement until 70, most people will not be able to maintain full-time (or even part-time) employment for that long. 

In fact, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says the average retirement age is 62 for women and 64 for men. While this has trended slightly upward over the past 20 years, health issues and a lack of job opportunities limit how long most people can keep working.

Overcoming the retirement savings shortfall

If you won't be ready to retire until you're 70 based on your current savings rate, swift action is needed. Increase the amount you're saving now, and you won't be forced to choose between scrambling to find work as a senior or living on too little. 

To get started, it's helpful to determine a target retirement date and set a savings goal that will allow you to achieve it. You can estimate how much you'll need in retirement in several different ways, but Aon's research suggests those currently in their 20s will need to save 12.5 times their final annual pay for a secure retirement, while those in their 30s will need 11.5 times their final salary. 

This is an increase from the standard recommendation to amass a nest egg equal to 10 times what you'll earn at the end of your career. Healthcare inflation and lengthening life spans both necessitate this larger nest egg for young people. 

Once you have your savings goal and an estimate of when you want to retire, use an online calculator to see how much you need to invest. If you're currently falling short, making cuts to your budget or working a side job could help you step up your savings.

Don't get stuck working until you're 70

If working until your seventh decade doesn't sound fun or feasible, now is the time to make sure you're on track to retire at a younger age. The sooner you increase your retirement savings, the more likely it is you'll be able to stop working when you're ready instead of being stuck on the job long after you're past your prime working years.